Starting pitcher Daniel Cabrera threw seven impressive innings but the Indianapolis Indians couldn't make an early lead stand up and had to rally late, taking an eighth-inning lead when Brandon Boggs scored on a wild pitch, before eventually beating the Louisville Bats 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Victory Field.
The game was tied 2-2 when the Indians came up in the bottom of the eighth inning. Boggs, who had started the game on the bench but took over in left field in the third inning, drew a leadoff walk and moved to second with no outs when LF-CF Gorkys Hernandez drew a four-pitch walk. 3B Matt Hague, batting in the No. 3 spot in the order, then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with 1B Jake Fox coming up to the plate.
Louisville planned to intentionally walk Fox to load the bases but RHP Josh Judy, who had taken the mound to start the inning, short-hopped C Brian Peacock with the first intentional pitch of the at bat. Peacock made a valiant effort at blocking the ball, but it scooted just far enough away that Boggs was able to race home from third to score what proved to be the game-winning run.
At that point, the Bats elected to pitch to Fox and the veteran made them pay, crushing a single to left field that drove in an insurance run in the form of Gorkys Hernandez, giving the game its final 4-2 score. Indians RHP Bryan Morris (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) picked up the win in relief of Cabrera and LHP Doug Slaten (0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) picked up a one-out save, his fifth of the year, with a strikeout of Louisville 3B Mike Constanzo.
Indianapolis had jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first inning after Hernandez reached on a one-out single to right-center and scored when Hague swatted a ball down the left-field line for an RBI double. Then after a flyout, SS Jordy Mercer hit an RBI double of his own to score Hague and give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
The Bats chipped away at that deficit with a run in top of the fourth when Chris Valaika, who had doubled earlier in the frame, scored on a sacrifice fly to deep right field by RF Danny Dorn, cutting the Tribe's lead to 2-1. Louisville then tied the game in the top of the sixth when SS Kristopher Negron hit a leadoff double and stole third base before scoring on Valaika's RBI single, tying the game at 2-2.
Cabrera (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) was impressive in only his second start for the Indians but was saddled with his second straight no decision. Also taking a no decision was Louisville starter Brett Tomko (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), who settled down after that two-run first inning, allowing only one other hit during the rest of his outing. Judy (0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) took the loss, his second of the year.
The Indians continue their longest homestand of the season on Monday night when they welcome Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to Victory Field for a four-game non-divisional series. Indianapolis is expected the throw LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (4-0, 2.86) while Lehigh Valley will likely counter with RHP Dave Bush (2-2, 3.71). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Post-game quotes -- LF-RF Brandon Boggs
(On scoring on a wild pitch during an intentional walk in the eighth)
"You don't see that play very often, but you've always got to be ready. The ball got away from him a little bit and I was able to get in there. You have to expect anything in this game and you don't really expect that, but I guess he didn't have confidence in throwing that pitch and it got away and I was right on it."
(On his leadoff walk in the eighth)
"He was pitching me tough with his curve ball and I kept fouling it off. He threw a lot of good pitches in there, but I ended up drawing that walk".
(On returning to Victory Field)
"I like to drive it to the gaps. This is a big ballpark and it fits my hitting style."
(On the mood in the clubhouse)
"It's a great mood. We're playing the music loud in there."
(On the starting pitching)
"It's unbelievable right now. Now, you see what they're going and the adjustments they're making, it's a great job out of them."